October 28, 2015

Thomas John Muza, 57, of Hightstown, was sentenced to state prison Friday for embezzling $240,000 from the Princeton University Triangle Club over a period of five years, 2008-2013. He was the Triangle Club’s accountant from 1993 to 2013.

According to the Attorney General’s office, Mr. Muza pleaded guilty on March 27 to a charge of second degree theft by unlawful taking. In addition to his sentence, he must pay a restitution of $240,000. At the sentencing hearing he had already paid $200,000 of that sum. more

At a meeting of Princeton Council Monday night, several residents of the neighborhood surrounding the construction site where the developer AvalonBay is building an apartment complex voiced strong concerns about chemical smells. Citing migraine headaches, sore throats and other unsettling effects, they urged the governing body to take action to make the Witherspoon Street site safer as construction continues.

Municipal staff members said they have been monitoring the site since strong odors were first reported on Wednesday, October 21. The smells were identified by the town’s health and engineering departments as coming from painting primer and top coat polyurethanes on the Henry Avenue parking garage, adjacent to the site. The Mercer County Division of Public Health was called in to help investigate the matter, and a Materials Safety Data Sheet was posted on the town’s website. more

OPENING STATEMENT: Princeton University women’s hockey player Cristin Shanahan, right, battles for the puck in a game last season. Last Friday, senior forward Shanahan scored the winning goal in the third period as Princeton edged Mercyhurst 3-2 in its season opener. A day later, she chipped in an assist as the Tigers completed a sweep of the two-game set with a 2-1 victory. Princeton starts ECAC Hockey action this weekend when it plays at Yale on October 30 and at Brown on October 31. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Opening its season at Mercyhurst last Friday, the Princeton University women’s hockey didn’t waste any time getting in the swing of things, taking a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Morgan Sly.

“The kids have been preparing hard for three weeks and they were ready to play so they came out strong,” said Princeton head coach Jeff Kampersal.

“Mercyhurst is a really good team, they are really well coached. I think it was their fifth game and it was our first game so us competing in the first period was what I was most worried about. They showed up and answered the call for sure.”

The Tigers built on that tally by junior forward Sly as junior Audrey Potts scored in the second period and senior Cristin Shanahan notched a third period goal that turned out to be the game winner in a 3-2 triumph. A day later, freshman Karlie Lund scored the first goal of her career and Sly added another tally as the Tigers held on for a 2-1 win over the Lakers.

The Princeton Battlefield Society will appeal a Mercer County judge’s rejection of its most recent attempt to keep the Institute for Advanced Study from building faculty housing on land owned by the Institute that the Battlefield Society says is historic and should not be disturbed.

Attorney Bruce Afran, representing the Battlefield Society, said Judge Mary Jacobson’s ruling last Friday was not unexpected. “These cases are really resolved in appellate court, so everybody expected this to have to go to a higher level,” he said on Monday. more


Morris S. Fabian will deliver a free, public lecture on his personal recollections of the local agricultural industry from 1943 to 1962 on Sunday, November 1 at 2 p.m. The presentation will focus on the area’s former dairy industry including Cool Meadows Farm, owned and operated by J.M. Fabian, breeder of Guernsey cattle and producer of Golden Guernsey milk. The event will take place at the Hopewell Township Branch of the Mercer County Library, located at 245 Pennington-Titusville Road in Pennington. To RSVP, email hvhist@aol.com.

MAKING STRIDES: Princeton High boys’ cross country runner Alex Roth heads to the finish line last Friday at the Mercer County Cross Country Championships. Junior star Roth took third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In 2014, Alex Roth couldn’t run in the Mercer County Cross Country Championships due to injury.

Last Friday, Princeton High boys’ junior star Roth was thrilled to toe the starting line at this year’s county meet.

“It is a great environment,” said Roth. “It was super cool to run with all of these competitive teams and competitive guys. It was great experience.”

Roth proved to be one of the top competitors on the course at Thompson Park in Jamesburg, taking third individually to help PHS finish a strong second, just three points (74-77) behind champion Robbinsville.

Coming into the race, Roth was focused on going after WW/P-S senior star Tim Bason, who ended up taking first.

“I wasn’t really worrying about time; I was trying to get in the mix to get a top position,” said Roth, who covered the course in 15:59.61. “I basically went out and just tried to hang with Tim Bason and just tried to go with it after that in the second half.”

Roth hung with Bason for about half of the race before getting edged  by 1.40 for second place by Zach Michon of Robbinsville down the final straightaway.

“I thought it was a good race; I felt confident,” said Roth. “The Robbinsville guy got me at the end but I felt like I ran the race I was looking for.”

While PHS entered the day looking for the team title, Roth saw the second-place finish as a positive.

True Style Book

G. Bruce Boyer, the author of True Style: The History & Principles of Classic Menswear (Basic Books) will be visiting Nick Hilton, 221 Witherspoon Street, on Saturday, October 31, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mr. Boyer has been called the “Robert Caro of the cufflink, the Boswell of the bow tie” and “the Raymond Chandler of menswear journalism.”

Mr. Boyer will be meeting and greeting customers, speaking casually about his life and work, and signing free copies of True Style. The event is in conjunction with an appearance by Nick Hilton’s premier fabric supplier, Gladson, Ltd. more

Book Rev

Like everyone else, I’ve never gotten over The Recognitions. — Harold Bloom

When I told a friend who likes big, difficult novels that I was about to begin William Gaddis’s 956-page tour de force The Recognitions, which was published by Harcourt Brace 60 years ago, he wished me luck: “I’ve tried at least 4 or 5 times to crack that book, but without success.” In a later message, after hearing that I’d embarked on so daunting a journey, he said, “I’ll pray for you.”

Over the decades, for every person who told me I had to read The Recognitions, someone else told me it was unreadable. Yet people who had “been there” carried on as if they’d returned from the journey of a lifetime. Having arrived safely, if dazed and word-weary, I’ll tell you some of what I experienced on my four-month sojurn in Gaddis’s mid-century wasteland. more

HOLY MOSES: Princeton High running back Moses Mahiri heads upfield against WW/P-S last Friday. Sophomore Mahiri had a breakout game against the Pirates, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on three carries to help PHS to a 34-7 win. The Little Tigers, now 3-4, host Robbinsville on October 31. (Photo by John Dowers)

Moses Mahiri was pumped up as the Princeton High football team got ready to play at WW/P-S last Friday evening.

“I was hyped before the game,” said PHS sophomore running back Mahiri.

“The whole team together was trying to get up our energy because coach (Charlie Gallagher) has always been talking about getting your energy up before the game, during games and after games and keep it going.”

Mahiri ended up providing plenty of energy at tailback, rushing for 116 yards and a touchdown on three carries as PHS posted a convincing 34-7 win over the Pirates in moving to 3-4 and snapping a two-game losing streak.

With PHS clinging to a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter, Mahiri got things going, taking off on a 44-yard run to the WW/P-S 9-yard line. On the next play, senior star Rory Helstrom bolted nine yards for a touchdown as PHS increased its lead to 14-0.

SHOWING HEART: Princeton High girls’ soccer goalie Rachel Eberhart goes after the ball in a game earlier this season. Last Wednesday, senior Eberhart made six saves to help sixth-seeded PHS edge No. 11 WW/P-N 1-0 in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. Two days later, Eberhart made seven saves but it wasn’t enough as the Little Tigers fell 2-1 to third-seeded Allentown in the MCT quarterfinals. PHS, now 9-4-1, will start play in the state tournament next week. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

Rachel Eberhart sensed that it was going to be a pressure cooker when the Princeton High girls’ soccer team hosted WW/P-N last Wednesday in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament.

With the rivals having played to a scoreless draw through two overtimes on October 8 in a regular season meeting, sixth-seeded PHS expected a tough battle from the 11th-seeded Northern Knights.

“We remembered the last game, we knew it was going to be a tough one,” said Eberhart.

“We knew they were going to put the pressure on us. We had to keep the ball on our feet and play our possession game and not get frantic and let them disrupt it and push us into doing long balls because that is not our game.”

In the rematch, the teams were still scoreless nearly 70 minutes into the contest and Eberhart had several big stops.

“I would say the game was very even and I definitely had a couple of shots to handle,” said Eberhart. “We had a couple of shots. It was a back and forth game.”

Katie Heins

To lead, one must be able to motivate others, to summon their best efforts in order to attain a successful result. Pinceton resident Katie Heins is such a leader.

Former president of the Garden Club of America (GCA) and Stony Brook Garden Club of Princeton, she has held numerous positions of responsibility in these organizations. Through her effort, energy, and expertise, she has helped them to become more productive, responsive, and influential.

As her friend of 30 years, Princeton resident Susan Levy, points out, “The productivity of any organization, it is often said, reflects its leadership. The Garden Club of America is better for having had Katie as its president. It is more productive, more cohesive, and more directed. Katie inspires by her own remarkable example, adhering to the highest standards, eager to take on challenges.” more

Rider Art

“ABRAHAM AND ISAAC”: This 62” x 62” oil on canvas by orthopedic surgeon, drawer, and painter Marc Malberg will be among the artworks displayed in the Rider University Art Gallery’s newest exhibit, “Biblical Inspiration in a Secular Age” running from November 5 to December 6. Malberg is one of five exhibiting artists whose work is based on a 21st century revisionist perspective on the Bible. Malberg’s images of Abraham and Isaac, Abraham and Aaron, Moses and the Burning Bush, and Absalom, King David’s son, will be on view in the exhibition.

Rider University’s Art Gallery opens an exhibition on Thursday, November 5 titled Biblical Inspiration in a Secular Age. Organized by guest curator Judith Brodsky, the exhibition will run from November 5 through Sunday, December 6. A reception in honor of the artists will take place on Thursday, November 5, and is free and open to the public. The artists will speak about their work in a free program open to the public on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. more

Bringing an undefeated record into its game at Lawrenceville last Saturday, the Hun School football team didn’t look like a juggernaut in the early stages of the contest.

The rivals were tied at 0-0 after the first quarter with the Raiders squandering some opportunities through some sloppy play.

Hun post-graduate running back/linebacker Imamu Mayfield acknowledged that the Raiders got off to a sluggish start.

“We started off flat, we can attribute that to having a pretty bad week of practice leading into this game,” said Mayfield.

“Our coaches have been telling us play like you practice and that is why we started out pretty slow.”

Early in the second quarter, a 68-yard touchdown pass from Simon Vadas to Josh Henderson got the Raiders up to speed.

Music Rev

The Princeton University Orchestra launched its 2015-16 season this past weekend with both old and new, challenging this year’s roster of musicians to draw on their highest level of playing. Conductor Michael Pratt paired the newest in performance imagination with a masterwork rooted in orchestral tradition, at the same time showing off one of the orchestra’s more talented members.

This year the University Department of Music has established a collaboration with the innovative So Percussion group as Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence. In its residency, So Percussion has been deeply entrenched in bringing their unique approach to the percussion around us to the students at the University, and Friday night’s concert at Richardson Auditorium was one more example of this creative and inventive combination of ensembles. Composer David Lang’s concerto man made, for percussion quartet and orchestra, made full use of the unique performance techniques and instruments of the So ensemble, complemented by the backdrop of a full orchestra. Lang’s man made began with the members of So Percussion supplying a rhythmic base with twigs snapped in various timings. No part of the twig was wasted — even dropping the pieces on the floor became part of the rhythmic pattern. The four percussionists were gradually joined by the orchestra in varying degrees of instrumentation.  more

October 27, 2015


Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, a pillar of modern physics formulated 100 years ago, will be celebrated by the Institute for Advanced Study and Princeton University in a two-day conference, General Relativity at 100. The conference, which will feature ten colloquium-style talks by international experts on diverse aspects of general relativity and its fascinating history—from cosmology to quantum gravity, from black holes to neutron stars—will take place in Wolfensohn Hall on the Institute’s campus on November 5–6. The conference will also celebrate the seminal role of Princeton physicists, particularly John Wheeler and Bob Dicke and their students, in advancing an examination of general relativity.  more

See below for the October 26, 2015 Princeton Council Meeting.

Town Topics Newspaper will be posting videos of all future municipal meetings.

October 23, 2015


BROWN OUT: Princeton University receiver Trevor Osborne heads up the field in a game earlier this season. Last Saturday, junior Osborne made three receptions for 74 yards in a losing cause as Princeton fell 38-31 at Brown. The Tigers, now 4-1 overall and 1-1 Ivy League, play at No. 15 Harvard (5-0 overall, 2-0 Ivy) on October 24. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

It didn’t take long for the Princeton University football team to find itself in an uphill battle as it played at Brown last Saturday. more

Odors reported by residents near the construction site of the AvalonBay rental complex have been addressed by the municipalitys Health and Engineering departments. In an update on the towns website, it is reported that the odors are originating from the parking garage on Henry Avenue, which is being resurfaced with a polyurethane waterproofing material.

The Mercer County Division of Public Health who has the authority to enforce New Jersey odor and air pollution regulations has been contacted and is working alongside Municipal Officials during this investigation,the update reads.The application of the material on the parking garage surface is expected to be completed by Friday, October 23rd. more

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October 22, 2015


GETTING DEFENSIVE: Princeton High field hockey player Julia Snyder heads up the field on a penalty corner in recent action. Senior defender and co-captain Snyder has helped solidify things on the back line for PHS as it has enjoyed another winning season. The Little Tigers improved to 11-4-2 and posted their fifth straight shutout with a 5-0 win over Ewing last Saturday in the first round of the Mercer County Tournament. Fifth-seeded PHS was slated to play at No. 4 Pennington in the MCT quarterfinals on October 20 with winner advancing to the semifinals on October 22. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

For Julia Snyder, the Senior Day ceremony for the Princeton High field hockey team last Wednesday helped put in perspective how far she has come during her career. more

At 9:49 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, Princeton’s police and fire departments and Princeton First Aid & Rescue Squad responded to a reported gas main leak on Hardy Drive. PSE&G also responded to the scene.

A two-inch gas main had been struck by a backhoe operator with Hillis Group of Easton, Pa., while digging to plant trees in a cul de sac area at the end of Hardy Road. The backhoe operator was not injured and there were no additional injuries at the scene. There was no property damage to any surrounding residences and no one was home at those houses. more

October 21, 2015


Siblings Linden (left) and Rowan O’Byrne of Princeton doing what comes naturally Saturday at the Friends of the Princeton Public Library Book Sale. In this week’s Town Talk, their father Sean talks about the books he found, including one about ballerinas for his daughter. (Photo by Emily Reeves)

Page 1 PU Safety

In the change of a longstanding policy, Princeton University Department of Public Safety (PUDPS) Executive Director Paul Ominsky last week announced that sworn department officers will have access to rifles in the event of “two specific situations С an active shooter or someone brandishing a firearm on campus.”

Mr. Ominsky emphasized the importance of rapid response time in cases of threats of a violent nature and the current thinking that getting an armed officer to the scene as quickly as possible is the safest, most effective response to the presence of an active shooter. Under the current policy, the PUDPS would have to call on the Princeton Police Department (PPD) to provide an armed response to an active shooter on campus.  more

The ongoing construction of a residential community for Princeton University faculty and staff at the corner of Bayard and Cleveland lanes is not quite in the home stretch. But the complex, on the former site of the Merwick rehabilitation center and the Stanworth apartments, is well along the way toward its projected goal of fall 2016 completion.

The newly constructed, multi-story apartments that make up the Merwick side are finished and occupied. The second phase is focused on the neighboring Stanworth units, which have housed University families for more than 60 years. The compact houses are currently in the process of being taken down and rebuilt, where possible, on their original foundations. The buildings are being stripped of their bricks before being demolished, and they look a bit forlorn in their naked state. more

On Thursday, October 29 at 7 p.m., the Princeton Police Department and the Princeton Public Schools will hold a community forum at John Witherspoon Middle School about the phone threats known as swattingthat continue to plague local schools.

Four threats have been called in since the start of the school year, with the latest occurring Tuesday at Johnson Park Elementary School. In each case, no bomb was found. Last year, schools received several calls.

A similar forum was held last spring. The idea is to provide information and answer questions, for all members of the community. Princeton Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane and Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter will be on hand to talk about actions being taken and to answer questions from the public.

The forum will take place in the school auditorium. John Witherspoon Middle School is located at 217 Walnut Lane.